Solaris has won the tender from the municipal utility In-der-City-Bus (ICB) in the German city of Frankfurt. The Polish company is expected to deliver 13 hydrogen buses set to enter regular service in 2022.
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Solaris debuted the fuel-cell version of its Urbino 12 model in Stockholm in June 2019. The gaseous hydrogen is stored at 250 atm in five tanks arranged on the roof. The manufacturer recently announced new tanks to be about 20 per cent lighter than previous models. The composite gas tanks, arranged alongside above the first axle, can store 36.8 kg of hydrogen. To keep energy consumption as low as possible, a CO2 heat pump is mounted in the vehicle, which uses waste heat from the fuel cell.
One difference: while the fuel cell was said to have an output of 60 kW when it was unveiled in 2019, Solaris now specifies output of 70 kW. The FC bus is driven by an axle with two integrated electric motors, each with an output of 125 kW. In addition to the H2 tanks on the roof, the Urbino 12 hydrogen also has several Solaris high-power batteries on board.
“Cities are responsible for 60% of CO2 emissions, so it is vital to allow the technologies used in every aspect of the city’s operation to ‘turn green’ – including public transport,” remarked Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris Bus & Coach. “I am very pleased to notice the growing interest in hydrogen buses which are a perfect supplement of our e-mobility portfolio,” he added.
According to Solaris’ market projections, hydrogen buses will constitute a substantial part of the bus fleet in Europe by 2030.
The first Urbino hydrogen models are already cruising on European streets. We reported of operators in Italy, Austria and the Netherlands. There have also been orders from Sweden and of course Germany. Also for ICB it is not the first foray into electric transport. The operator announced last year that it had ordered eleven electric buses from Irizar and Caetano.
Update 31 May 2019: Ballard Power Systems announced a follow-uppurchase orders from Solaris Bus & Coach for 13 Ballard FCmove fuel cell modules to power 13 fuel cell electric buses deployed with In-der-City-Bus GmbH (“ICB”), which operates bus routes in Frankfurt, Germany. Ballard plans to ship the modules in 2021 and the buses are planned for deployment in 2022.
“With the deployment of these 13 buses, Ballard modules will be powering a total of 80 Solaris buses in The Netherlands, Germany and Italy, added Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Operator. “The orders we are announcing today are indicative of the growing European and global adoption of zero-emission FCEBs, driven by recognized benefits that include superior total cost of ownership for bus fleet operators along with route flexibility, rapid refueling and long range zero-emission performance.”
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